US Army (R​et)

Against the Headwind
Contra Vien​to y Marea

​​Colonel Manuel F. Siverio

US Army (Ret.)


Upon arrival at the University of Maryland for registration, in September 1946, he discovered there were about thirty other first year students from Puerto Rico at the university. Most of them were seventeen and eighteen year-old.  ​He also met some of their parents who, after learning that he was a recently discharged army officer, asked him to look out for their children, most of whom had never been away from home before.​​


On a front line visit to the 65th Infantry Regiment, on March 23rd 1951, General Douglas MacArthur, Commander of United States Forces in the Far East, expressed his admiration for the invincible loyalty to the United States of the Puerto Rican soldiers.  Recently, and in a historic occasion, on May 22, 2014, Congress conferred to the 65th Infantry Regiment, Borinqueneers, the highest honor it can bestow, the Congressional Gold Medal.


After returning from Korea to the Antilles Command in early 1952, Manolo met a lovely lady from Lares, Puerto Rico named Marilia Levy.  What would you do if within 60 days of meeting her, Marilia is selected to represent Puerto Rico in the first ever Miss Universe Contest in Long Beach, California?

Contra Vien​to y Marea

Col. Manuel F. Siverio Sr.

Against the 

​This book is not just about Colonel Siverio’s heroism.  It’s not just about his military service; it is much broader than that. This book is a success story; a leadership story. . . I am very happy that Colonel Siverio has decided to write this book and share his life story with all of us.  I know the collective Puerto Rican chest is swelled with pride for one of their own. Mannie is an inspiration to all who know him personally and the reader of this book will feel some of that same inspiration.

​Dr. Barney Stoutamire

​University of West Florida, Retired​




​Never in his wildest imagination could this son of a small crop farmer have dreamed that something as simple as enlisting in the U.S. Army was putting him on the verge of one day being assigned to one of the most difficult and unappreciated positions one could participate in … selecting men for compulsory military​ service during America’s most hated armed conflict … the Vietnam War. 

It took dedication and long hours to study the files of each registrant, before they were considered for military service.  To say it was an enormous task would be a momentous understatement.